Congratulations to our Katy Rand for her victory in Carnicella v. Mercy Hospital, 2017 ME 161. This was a dispute as to whether the defendant employer discriminated against an employee under the Maine Human Rights Act, 5 M.R.S. ss. 4551-4631.
The important part of this decision for precedential purposes is at the end, where the Court rules that, unlike the ADA, the MHRA does not require employers to provide employees who are unable to work with leave as a reasonable accommodation. The Court also reiterated the conclusion it reached five years ago in Kezer v. Central Maine Medical Center, 2012 ME 54, that employers have no obligation under the MHRA to propose, identify or consult with the employee regarding reasonable accommodations. Examining the language of the state statute, the Court found no counterpart to the federal act imposing such a burden.